Next Event!

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So today was event number 3 of the year, the “Devils Duathlon” in Reading, and back to the “nemesis” distance of 10k run, 40k ride and 5k run, where last time I did this distance it all went a bit Pete Tong, followed a week later by a more inspriting effort!

I’d bought a new Planet X bike last week, and was hoping to get it early this week so I had a chance to ride it a few times before the event…..error. It didn’t arrive til Friday, and once the tyres were on the new wheels I got a steady 18miles on Saturday, and decided it wasnt gonna wait!

Well, as I approached the “farm” where the race started the car was reading 4.5 degrees, and there was a low, heavy mist everywhere! I’d brought a long sleeved cycling top, and my initial plan was to wear the short sleeve top for the run where the whole body is involved, and then “don” the long sleeve top in transition for the bike leg, where your upper body tends to be static.

After a steady 10k, with the odd undulation, I rolled into transition in the late 45min area….happy enough with this….already 4 mins up on the dreadful London Duathlon effort!

I was pretty warm, and stupidly decided to ditch the long sleeve top, so transferred my gels to my short sleeve top pockets, cycling shoes on, and the bike was unracked!

The cycle route was 4 laps of 10k with a tricky, short hill near the end of each lap. Otherwise it was quiet country roads with some nice smooth areas. This really let the new bike (powered by me of course) get a good ride! The carbon deep rims, mounted on the carbon frame felt good!!! 1 lap was down, and I was feeling good!


However, second lap I raised my gloved hand to my Oakleys, and wiped away some of the mist from them……..”Oh it’s quite clear now!” Maybe the mist wasnt as bad, now I was looking through clearer lenses!!

However, in lap 2 the fingers started to get colder (fingerless gloves), and looking down at my arms through (now clearer lenses) they were slightly pink ,and the hairs on my arms had gathered small dew balls….I was starting wonder whether I should have gone with common sense over an extra minute in transition!

During lap 3, the fingers were damn cold, as were the arms…..still no let up on the mist! A funny thing also, (in a weird way ) was my right arm, just below the elbow was getting stiff when I tried to straighten and bend it. Anyone whose followed me for a bit, might remember I ruptured my bicep tendon last November and through surgery, had the radial bone drilled, and the tendon reattached via a clasp. Well…..the cold was starting to lock it up!! Wasn’t a nice feeling, so I focussed on bending, straightening my arm, and swapping between the “hoods” and the drop bars, probably more than I should of, but to keep the circulation and pressure moving!


Closing on the 4th lap my thighs started feeling a little drained/heavy….not ideal when you’ve got a 5k coming up! I dismounted and shuffled the short way to transition. It took longer than I wanted to take helmet, and shoes off as I couldnt really feel my finger too well! Eventually they were changed over and I shuffled out (those who have done a tri/duathlon know what I mean after the bike leg) and I set off for the final section

I think there were about 100 competitiors in this event, with some pretty tasty athletes… the sporting sense. What this meant was the field was really spaced out. This also meant I was running alone.

I’ve talked before about the subconscious mind, the part that starts talking to you emotionally, giving you the “Ohhhh I feel knackered, or this section is going up hill, I’m really gonna feel it” ) and being out on my own in the cold for 5k, it was gonna rear its head!

My first 1k or so sounded like I was running like a penguin, flat footed and slapping, and I realised I couldn’t actually feel my toes!! I soon managed to shut off the voices (for most of the 5k!) and the toes started to work with the feet!

The final 1k has a nasty trail climb, and this certainly got the lungs working overtime……..but I told my subconcious that every up has a down, and the fast downhill was a welcome break! I then just had a slight incline the final 800m back!

The thing I love about these events, is the support and the marshalling where everyone encourages you along, which really does help when you’re busting a ball. As I was climbing this final incline on the road 3 kids about 5 came towards me some on bikes, some running, and were holding their hands out for high 5’s!! I duly obliged and for a few seconds I chuckled, picturing myself as the “Brownlees” on a closing straight!! Yeah right………!!!

Anyhow it made their day, and their parents a bit further up on the final turn had a smile and gave me some final words of encouragement and a clap as I turned and ran hard for the finish line!!


For once I didn’t collapse at the end, suprising as I pretty much gave it my all like normal, maybe the temperature side didn’t drain me as much as the others?!

Anyhow, I was more than happy with the final times;

10k run – 45:56

40k Bike – 1:14

5k Run – 22:38

Another great event and organising, now a week off before Chilham Castle Duathlon…..bring it on!

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